Editorial

  • This inaugural issue of Solutions marks the beginning of what we hope will be a long and fruitful dialogue across our global society. To help build a shared vision of where our society wants to go and initiate a broad agreement about how to get there—these are our intentions. We want Solutions to help us […]

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  • In the Sudan, decades of war and unrest, intensified by the most recent conflict in Darfur, have created the world’s largest population of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Homes for Sudan, a new non-profit based in Boston, has a plan to help Sudanese refugees rebuild their villages. Working with local Sudanese universities and NGOs, …

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  • As South Africa battles one of the largest HIV/AIDS epidemics in the world, a group of healthcare workers and innovators is deploying a powerful new weapon in the fight: the cell phone. By sending out approximately 1 million HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis text messages each day to the personal cell phones of the general public, the […]

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  • More than 350,000 small-scale farmers in Africa and Central America will soon be selling produce to the UN in an initiative that could transform the way food aid is purchased. Under a new five-year $76m (£41m) pilot project, the UN’s World Food Programme said it would buy surplus crops from low-income farmers in 21 countries […]

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  • In its own version of the FBI’s most-wanted list and the first such program to focus on environmental crimes, the Environmental Protection Agency has developed a website featuring a roster of 23 fugitives the government wants the public’s help in tracking down. These fugitives have allegedly assaulted nature by such acts as …

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  • How can we measure a nation’s well being? Most countries currently use the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – the sum of all economic activity or total market value – as an overall wellness indicator. Therefore, when the economy is in good health, factors such as oil spills, natural disasters, and high cancer rates get ignored. […]

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Feature

Perspectives

  • American business thrives on easy money—not low-interest money from banks, but stupendous sums of money from Congress, passed on through the departments of the federal government. Some think the system should properly be called “subsidism,” not capitalism. Whatever we think of this mechanism, it created the victorious war machine …

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  • Few challenges are more pressing in the Arab World today than finding ways to absorb the 80 million job seekers who will come out of the pipeline over the next 12 years. The significant increases made in educational attainment have made little impact on worker productivity, and employment prospects remain low for Arab graduates. Such […]

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  • “True, they don’t have any electricity,” John Corsi, CEO of Solarex Corporation, told me in 1990, “but they also don’t have any money.” The chief of America’s then-largest solar company, later absorbed into BP Solar, expressed doubts about my idea of starting a non-profit organization to bring solar …

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  • Everyone agrees: our economy is sick. The inescapable symptoms include declines in consumer spending and consumer confidence, together with a contraction of international trade and available credit. Add a collapse in real estate values and carnage in the automotive and airline industries, and the picture looks grim indeed. But why are both the …

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  • The traditional approach to conservation demands segregation—a boundary dividing man and wild. Conservationists identify endangered species’ core habitats and try to fence them off from human contamination—from guns, cornfields, or shopping malls. In many cases, this strategy has worked: protected areas have been important to species and …

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  • Imagine our colossal, municipal landfills as mines full of resources for building our future urban and suburban spaces. What kind of effort is required to reuse their copious contents? For hundreds of years we have designed cities to generate waste. Now that more than half of all humans are settled in urbanized areas, waste management […]

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  • Navigating war zones has never been easy for aid workers and UN agencies. As the fighting earlier this year in Gaza has shown, streets are demolished, new thoroughfares run through old houses, and new military check-points provide a constantly changing city grid. To solve that problem, a new NGO called OpenStreetMap is seeking to provide […]

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  • Travel through a village in Africa, and likely as not you’ll see multicolored trash bags twisting through the scrub, like birds signaling for mates. Plastic bags have taken over the continent, caught in thorn trees, blocking sewers, clogging streams. Not in Rwanda. The government passed a law in 2004 banning plastic bags throughout the …

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On the Ground

  • I am a bicycle-mom. My own and all other children’s futures drive me in my work as a freelance journalist, author, and lecturer. That is why I cycle. That is why I buy vintage clothes and talk about that fact on stage in my lectures. That is why I sit on the Malmö Fairtrade City […]

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Envision the Future

  • As ecological, economic, and social crises deepen, human societies are seeking new designs for a sustainable and desirable world. Although it is widely recognized that isolated initiatives will not form an adequate response to our interconnected plights, current efforts to promote sustainability rarely pervade all aspects of our lives. Our …

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Interview

  • Michael Pollan is the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, named by The New York Times as one of the top-five nonfiction books of 2006. In his book, he explains how our food not only affects our health, but has far-reaching political, economic, and environmental implications. Michael Pollan is the director of the Knight Program in […]

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Media Review

  • Move over Obama! Fancy a shot at playing a politician who must rescue his country from global warming, whilst juggling the demands of his constituency for basic resources? This game throws you in at the deep end as the president of a newly-amalgamated European Union. You get to do everything from setting green tax policy, […]

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  • In 1992, the year of the first United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Concerned Scientists warned that a “great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this […]

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  • With revenue from video games set to overtake the film industry this year, socially-minded programmers have started taking advantage of the format’s ability to reach younger generations. Games for Change hosts an annual conference in New York that aims to bring together the emerging world of progressive techies. Games showcased at recent …

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  • Solutions to the world’s most pressing problems often originate at the grassroots level. A new non-profit organization uses multi-media technology and a global team of volunteers to find those solutions and broadcast them. Based out of British Columbia, SAWA Global has video volunteers in 50 of the world’s poorest countries documenting …

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  • Proudly hailing Obama as “the most food-centric chief executive since Thomas Jefferson,” www.obamafoodorama.blogspot.com takes the indulgence of niche interests on the web to an entirely epicurean level. The foodie blog combines irreverent observations of the First Family’s dining choices with insight and analysis into President Obama’s plans …

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  • The news from China usually consists of untold environmental devastation scarcely hidden by a monolithic single party state that seems content to expend the environment for the sake of creating factory jobs for its rural poor. In other words, rather grim news, which is why this website provides such a wonderful blast of (relatively) fresh […]

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  • If you ever wondered what happened to the anti-globalization and climate change protests of the late nineties and turn of the century, then look no further than “It’s Getting Hot in Here,” the dynamic grassroots blog of the newest generation of activists. The site was originally set up by protesters at the Montreal round of …

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Text Boxes

  • For decades, even centuries, humanity will be dealing with complex climate-change impacts, yet we lack essential democratic assets to meet the challenges. Policymakers must take great care to choose paths that build our democratic-governance muscle—the decision-making structures, policies, citizen practices, and public trust we need to avert …

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  • The cap-and-dividend proposal detailed by Barnes and McKibben is both visionary and progressive (in both social and economic senses); further, it promises accountability and transparency in its implementation. Not so—at least not yet—the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES), currently being reshaped in the Senate. While ACES’s …

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